North London Independent Schools - recommendations please(14 Posts)
I'm researching 4+ entry for my dd - although I know some start earlier / later - and would love any recommendations or advice. Particularly girls schools, although mixed is of interest too. I know about the obvious ones - Habs, NLCS, SHHS, Highgate, Channing. What have I missed out, and are there any great preprep schools that I should be looking at as well?
Many thanks for any help..
Others to look at:
St Christopher's (if you would consider Catholic school)
I'm sending my DD to UCS Phoenix next autumn - hopefully from there she will go on to SHHS or similar at 7+
Depends on location, but I went to Habs and prep school was Stormont
St Christopher's isn't Catholic -- are you thinking of St Christina's? Which is a really lovely school. Cavendish is also nice, though less full-on Catholic than StC's, which might be a bonus. I don't think they're fussy about taking non-Catholics.
Not keen on the junior dept of Channing -- didn't like the head.
Luckily for us, all dc now have places at great state schools, so my researches are at an end.
where do you live?
There are lots of great state schools in the area as well.
If you want yr dd to go to South Hampstead anyway, would you consider a state school?
Not being ideological - it's your choice - but it just might make life easier as a lot of the private schools are very oversubscribed (parents registering kids at birth etc)
North Bridge house is nice - co-ed.
I liked Sarum Hall when I looked around it.
Have you actually looked at any state schools in your area? Ds went to state primary in N. London then on to a private school at 11. I am probably biased, but he did seem to be a little more well rounded than the kids who'd been in the private system since the age of 4. He did not lag behind these kids, and in fact got bumped up to the top stream after one term.
Just suggesting you consider all the options.
Hey.. local state primaries are either religious (not keen) or not very good. We are quite far from nearest decent primary, and it is predictably oversubscribed.. Though we'll try for it anyway. Secondary, the situation is worse. The 2 local schools we have are RC and failing, and a boys only (I have dds)..
Thanks for all the good suggestions!
Our daughters went to Habs and NLCS respectively from 5 and 7. Both great schools and they stayed to age 18 and now both at univesrity. I have often been asked to compare the two over the years. I liked them both. Very hard to choose. NLCS has more children from Hampstead/more central London in it and gets slightly better A level results but there's not much in it.
Depends where you live which are best for you however. Always look at where chidlren go on to at 11+ if it's just prep and how many scholarships they get to the next school.
Xenia - thanks for the 11+ / scholarships point, its a really good one.
...though bear in mind a prep with a non-assessed entry at 4+ may not have as lengthy a scholars' roll for its leavers as a school which has formally assessed its candidates on entry. You need to compare leavers' lists with an eye to what sort of intake each school originally had, to ensure you're comparing like with like.
Personally one factor for me would be a school with more than a single class intake;the children could imo have a more limited social circle for 7 years if there's only 1 class. But others might not rate that as an issue.
I have a recommendation on private schools if you are in the the Sussex/Surrey/Kent boarder area and that is for Greenfields Independent school in Forest Row. My son has been there since he was 11 (is now 14) and really loves it. It has a unique study method which ensures that all kids - fast or slow or even mildly dyslexic kids - assimilate the subjects they are studying and can actually make use of it in life (instead of the too common alternative of just studying to pass exams and then forgetting all). They also have a zero tolerance policy on bullying and as they are a small school - small class sizes which means more teacher attention. Best of all though - I can afford them as they recently slashed the fees! Hope this helps - see their website www.greenfieldsschool.com
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